United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
Nathaniel M. Gorton United States District Judge
petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2255 is brought to vacate and correct a lawfully
imposed sentence. For the reasons that follow,
petitioner's motion to vacate will be denied, and the
petition will be dismissed.
October, 2014, Robert DeFronzo (“DeFronzo” or
“petitioner”) was sentenced to 57 months
imprisonment and 60 months of supervised release after being
convicted of maiming in aid of racketeering, assault with a
dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering, assault resulting in
serious bodily harm in aid of racketeering and conspiracy to
commit violent crimes in aid of racketeering.
conviction arose from actions taken while he was a member of
the Red Devils Motorcycle Club (“RDMC”), an
affiliate chapter of the Hell's Angels Motorcycle Club.
In September of 2012, an unnamed member of the RDMC
(“the victim”), who had failed to assault another
former member as ordered by superiors, was forced by Sean
Barr (“Barr”), a co-defendant in this case, to
resign from the club.
October 15, 2012, the victim was ordered to come to the RDMC
chapterhouse in Byfield, Massachusetts, purportedly to
“clear his name”. When he arrived, the victim was
met by DeFronzo, Barr, and several other RDMC members,
including two co-defendants. After a long interrogation, one
of the group took the victim's motorcycle keys and went
to the victim's house to retrieve the vehicle.
the keys were taken, the victim was knocked unconscious. When
he regained consciousness, Barr offered the victim a choice
between having his hand or knee struck with a ball-peen
hammer. The victim chose his hand but when he recoiled
DeFronzo told him that if he did not submit willingly,
DeFronzo would hold it for him. Barr then proceeded to strike
the victim with the hammer, breaking four out of the five
bones in his hand and causing serious, permanent injury.
the months of October, 2012, and March, 2013, the victim was
repeatedly told by the members of the RDMC that he was to
give them the title to the stolen motorcycle or else he would
be crippled, killed, maimed, or his partner would be raped,
and she and her children murdered. The victim went into
hiding and eventually contacted the Federal Bureau of
March 12, 2013, the FBI conducted surveillance as the victim
delivered title to the stolen motorcycle to a member of the
RDMC. In October, 2013, the defendants were arrested.
February 5, 2015, petitioner was permitted to enter a plea of
guilty pursuant to a binding Rule 11(c)(1)(C) plea agreement
(“the agreement”) for each count of the
indictment. The terms of the agreement provided for a joint
recommendation that petitioner's offense level under the
United States Sentencing Guidelines (“USSG”)
would be 23, yielding an applicable sentencing guideline
range of 46-57 months, and that DeFronzo would receive a
sentence of 57 months imprisonment.
of the agreement, the prosecution agreed not to apply the
robbery enhancement found in § 2B3.1(a) of the USSG,
which would have resulted in a guideline range the low end of
which is 87 months incarceration. In return, petitioner
agreed to the application of USSG § 2A2.2(b)(3)(C),
which mandates a seven point enhancement because the victim
of the crime sustained permanent bodily injury.
terms of the agreement also provided that the petitioner
waive any right to challenge his conviction in future
proceedings, including collateral attacks on his sentence.
April 10, 2017, petitioner filed a motion to vacate and
correct his sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255,
asserting that newly discovered evidence demonstrates that
the victim's injury was not permanent. Accordingly, he
contends the seven point enhancement under USSG §
2A2.2(b)(3)(C) was incorrectly applied and his ...